Clearer definitions required
Is IBS the answer for almost every digestive complaint ?
Throughout this website you will find comment regarding the excessively broad use of the diagnoses for IBS.
For some people IBS can mean that they have gas and bloating, for other it can mean crippling pain and anxiety. For some people the symptoms can arise later in life, for others it can be a lifelong condition.
The use of this sole term as a blanket for so many ‘different’ digestive disorders allows it to trivialised.
Many have now cottoned on to the severity of Crohn’s and Colitis, however for IBS sufferers who have severe disorders that do not fit into either of those diseases there is little by way of help or empathy.
It is a struggle to think of any other condition where there are such significant fluctuations in symptoms. It is a condition where two diametrically opposed symptoms are included as part of the same illness.
You would treat constipation entirely different to diahrrea, yet they are lumped in together, thus if you read a generic IBS advice sheet, you could end up making the problem far worse.
Why does this matter ?
This is of greatest importance to severe sufferers. If you have unpleasant and painful symptoms, you will rarely receive any support or sympathy, as the condition has been so utterly trivialised by its broad nature. If the public at large were asked what they think IBS is like, or their understanding of it the reality is most would treat it as a very minor illness.
Most people would link it with bloating, cramping and needing the bathroom more frequently, but as sufferers know that is merely an hors d’oeuvre.
All we ask
We are simply asking for greater awareness. To stop painting every digestive order as IBS. If there were greater awareness, then IBS sufferers could at last get a touch more sympathy and understanding in the work place and even amongst their own family.
This is not the cry of victimisation, it is the cry of the misundertsood. No one is asking for special treatment, we are just asking that the many thousands that suffer daily receive the support they deserve.